Tag Archives: photography

Frozen Matabesett River

In a previous post I showed viewers one of the local fresh water marshes, frozen at this time year. Rather cold and almost intimidating.

I went back a few days later to see if I could find a trail around the marsh towards the river. I did find a hidden path and it took me to the banks of the mighty Matabesett.

Best to explain a New England river to our long distance readers. If you can’t jump across, it must be a river. Matabesett is a little bigger, only 16 miles long, but fairly narrow in some places.  There are marshes along the way to confuse where the river bank really is.

Maine, the large New England state, has many ‘ponds’. The Mediterranean would be a ‘pond’ in Maine.

Not being a native New Englander I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.

The images here are from my walk along the trails by this river named for a native American tribe (also known as “Black-hill Indians”) that inhabited the Middletown Connecticut area.

A Busy Maple Tree

Yesterday afternoon the tree tops around here were filled with the locals. Snow on the ground from the last storm, more in the air, and what was being advertised as a winter storm adventure just about here. I couldn’t count the small Junco’s on the ground stocking up on food.

The storm did hit, but more like a typical New England blizzard, not the history making monster we were told. No complaints here though. None!

I tried to keep all my shots in the tree tops. I’m learning a new ‘super telephoto’ lens, and using only the back button focus method with it. This means I missed most of the opportunities for good shots. At one point I completely forgot to focus correctly and was sure I had broken something!

The little ‘fast movers’ did stay around long enough for a few long distance pictures though.

They were back today, but there was a storm after all so most of the day was digging out. With luck the wind will stop tonight and I can get out and about tomorrow.


Dark Eyed Junco

One of my favorite ‘fast movers’.

They show up in New England the same time every year.  Staying here for the winter. They go back north April 15th. No really…. I have marked it on the calendar for years.  They live in Canada so maybe the date has something to do with taxes.

Cornell University has tracked them to be in over 90% of the back yards in the Northeast in every years annual bird count. In Connecticut you will find one or two in mid November. Look outside after the first snow storm and there are suddenly dozens zooming around.  They can even stand up to the House Sparrow at feeders.

This one sat on a bush, not carrying about the snow coming down. So here he is.

The Often Maligned New England Gull


Around here we don’t even see them any more. They are here, but we look through them.

When a large bird flies over we all look up fast, then…..”It’s just a Seagull” and move on.  What type of gull? Most of us don’t really know.

They really are incredible birds. Acrobats of the bird world. Throw some food in the air and it will never hit the ground. The food will likely be grabbed by several gulls before it’s eaten. They are fast, loud, and entertaining.

I went out several times in the last week and all I found were some gulls. I watched them, and now I’m going to pay more attention to them.


Woodpeckers, Photos Caught And Missed

Every type that lives around here came all at once. Which means some chased others, pictures were taken, and way too many missed.

The larger black and white Hairy Woodpecker came in a small loud flock. I didn’t know they would travel that way.I also was unaware of how much noise they could make. Not a single clear shot of any unfortunately.

Same with the two Flickers. But I know they will be back. They seem to live here.

Still I did get a few shots of both Red Belly and Downy up in the maples.

Winter Swans

As a change of pace I went to the Connecticut river, just north of the Middletown bridge. The last few days were spent in local marshes photographing frozen landscapes. Well, taking pictures of ice really.

I had hoped to get shots of some Wood Ducks, or Mergansers.  None were around.

There were a pair of Swans hiding along the shore, geese, and of course the ever present gulls.  Swans make great subjects so most of my time was spent following them. I did not ignore any of the others either.

The lighting was a challenge today. Ice and water, full sun, then no sun, etc. Typical New England.

Frozen Winter Marsh

This week I walked through the fresh water marshes that sit between the Mattabassett and Connecticut rivers. I had thought to photograph local wildlife.

What I found was a cold and uninviting landscape. Few birds were here and no other wildlife. However, I did see another side of land along the rivers.

Invasive plants have taken the place of native reeds and brush. The reeds on the shore have given shelter to the swallows and other water fowl. Inland I’m not so sure.  The vines have made the brush thick and difficult to navigate.

Shooting in Black and White seemed appropriate for this place and time of year. I’ll visit again in the spring and probably get a completely different perspective.